b'New Yorker. Her two childrenit wasIt wasnt as bad as I remembered, only after she became a mother thatshe says. It needed some scenes and it she quit working full-time and devot- needed an ending, but she could work ed herself to novel writinggrew fromwith what she had. And she did. She adolescents to young adults, and Ma- kept about two thirds of what she had plewoods writing scene blossomed. originally written, polished up the rest WhenErensandherhusbandand thought about getting it into print.movedherein1997,drawntotheHerusualpublisher,TinHouse, houses and the ambience (We just re- however, was not set up to do childrens ally liked Maplewood, she says. Webooks.Sosheandheragentbegan felt comfortable here.), Erens foundlooking farther afield, and the SOMA a single writing friend, Meredith Sueliterary circle provided an answer.Willis, and made do with a charmingItcameinthepersonofRobert though tiny bookstore, Goldfinch. Lasner, who with his wife, Elizabeth In the ensuing years, the number ofClementson, owns a small publishing writers in the two towns exploded. Andhouse, Ig Publishing, with offices and Words Bookstore, large and thriving,branding in New York, but run, at least drew breath and then started drawingin some sense, out of South Orange,Robert Lasner, owner of Ig Publishing and founder of the SOMA Book Festival, pub-important writers of all stripes. Erenswhere the couple and their two boyslished Pamela Erens\' first middle grade book "Matasha."became part of a burgeoning writershavelivedsince2015.Clementson circlethatincludednovelists,poets,also is a vice president at W.W. Nortonsome point, he remembers, she writes to us, Do you guys do middle grade essayists, editors and publishers. &Company,soLasnerhandlesthebooks? I have this middle grade book called Matasha. Lasner took a read and Onedaynotlongago,oneofday-to-day business of the company. was hooked. He gave it to Clementson to read, and she felt the same.those writing friends asked her if sheLasner, who is also the founder ofAnd so Matasha, a most unlikely novel, was born. It came to bookstores on had ever taken part in National NoveltheSOMABookFestival,hadmetJune 1, and there will be an August event of some kind at Words. It already Writing Month. She remembered herErensatliteraryevents,buthelikeshas received a starred review from Kirkus, which said it beautifully renders childrens book, went hunting throughtothinkthattheirrealconnectionthe slow-motion alchemy of growing up, and praised it as mesmerizing and the file drawers, unearthed it and readwas yoga: They both took lessons at amemorable.it again. studio on South Orange Avenue. AtIt seems appropriate that Matashaan improbable novelshould find a Fierce Advocates. Modern Brokerage. Elevated Real Estate Experience.Leveraging our combined real estate talent and Compass tools, technology, and programs, we offer an elevated real estate experience.Contact us today to find out how we willcustomize a strategy for your home.Stacie Levy Lic. RE SalespersonElyse Wolfe Lic. RE Salesperson M: 917.686.3821 | O 973.310.6816 M: 201.704.7747 stacie.levy@compass.com elyse.wolfe@compass.comCompass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to the accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage.feature story /25'